David Denby is a staff writer and film critic for The New Yorker. His new book, American Sucker, is a memoir about his brief obsession with the stock market — during the height of irrational exuberance in 2000-2001. It started with his wife's announcement that she was leaving him. Denby began an attempt to make $1 million so that he could buy out his wife's share of their New York apartment. (This interview continues into the second half of the show).
New York magazine film critic David Denby is interviewed by Fresh Air's Book Critic Maureen Corrigan about his new book "Great Books: My Adventures with Homer, Rousseau, Woolf, and Other Indestructible Writers of the Western World." It comes from Denby's recent return to Columbia University to take two western civilization classes. He wanted to explore the current debate in literature of whether these classic books should be required reading in today's multi-cultural society.